I’m a caregiving expert, with more than 30 years of experience in the field of aging, so you’d think I’d be fully prepared for a loved one’s death, especially when that person is older or has been battling illness.
For those of us who love the law, what's best about it is how it is always developing, changing, adding data points like dots in a pointillistic picture. For those of us with a career in the law, staying engaged with - and curious about - theory and policy and societal progress transform a 30- or 40- or 50-year occupation into a passion.
If Ronald Lee Motley hadn't existed, some novelist or screenwriter surely would have made him up: a high-powered, flamboyant attorney with a smooth-as-silk Southern drawl who fancied ostrich-skin cowboy boots and liked to sail on a 165-foot yacht named after Themis, the female Greek titan of law, whenever he wasn't in a courtroom whacking corporate bigwigs around like so many piñatas.
The bond between a grandparent and grandchild can be incredibly strong. There is something special about that skipped-generation relationship. But sometimes family conflict between parents and grandparents can keep grandchildren from seeing their grandparents. This was apparently the situation in a recent Alabama grandparent visitation court case that rose all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Nebraska has a bill before it's legislature that will address the difficult issue of a deceased person's online life by giving access to the executor of that person's estate. The bill does not just focus on Facebook, but takes into account the myriad social network, blogging and email accounts that a person can acquire over the years.
I recently had the pleasure of joining my long-time friend and colleague Jaia Peterson Lent, Deputy Executive Director at Generations United, for a discussion on AARP's TV show, Inside E Street which provides a civil look at issues critical to Americans. We talked about a topic we both feel very passionate about: grandparents. Inside E Street's host, Lark McCarthy, was fabulous (I remember watching her on the local DC TV station so it was great to meet her in person!). In this segment, Grandparents on a Mission, we had a lively discussion about the legal challenges facing grandparents who are seeking visitation with grandchildren and about the financial, health, legal and other tough issues that grandparent caregivers wrestle with every day.
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